A car mechanic is a person who repairs and maintains automobiles, motorcycles or other vehicles. A few people become auto mechanics because it was a lifelong dream; others may be inspired by a family member who had a mechanical background and a love of cars; still others are simply curious about how engines work. Mechanics are required to undergo rigorous training to ensure that they can fix cars safely and efficiently. Some even receive certification from the manufacturers that they work on, in order to gain detailed knowledge of each vehicle’s specific mechanics.
Depending on where one works, the responsibilities of an automotive professional may include:
Examining and repairing automobile systems such as hydraulics, electrical suspension and fuel ignition. Using computerized diagnostics to examine the performance of vehicles and systems. Communicating with clients to provide estimates and timelines for repairs. Providing customers with a complete list of parts and services included in the estimate. Performing routine maintenance and lubrication of various automotive components.
Most of the time, mechanics will not just repair a broken part; they will replace it entirely. They will also often recommend replacements for parts that are not necessarily broken yet, such as a radiator hose that is showing signs of wear and tear. Some people compare the job of a mechanic to that of a physician, because most people only seek out the help of a mechanic when their car is in dire need of a check-up.
The typical career path for a mechanic car mechanic starts with completing a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. Most people go on to attend an apprenticeship or a vocational program in the automotive field, although there are some people who go directly into an employer’s shop after they finish their studies.
In some cases, car companies will sponsor automotive programs at community colleges and trade schools, in order to attract new talent to their factories. For example, Fiat Chrysler has a program called the Mopar Career Automotive Program that offers students internships and opportunities to earn manufacturer-specific certifications while they are still in school.
Those who are unable or unwilling to commit the long hours that can be required for this career may choose other jobs. Some go into sales or marketing, while others open their own shops. Those with enough experience and success may move on to supervisory positions at dealerships or large repair shops.
The future of automobiles is likely to remain steady, meaning that there will be a continued need for those who can inspect, repair and maintain them. Unlike some other professions, auto mechanics do not face as much threat of being replaced by automation or outsourcing. It is likely that this field will continue to offer solid career prospects for those who are willing to work hard and learn new skills as they go along. This makes it a good choice for those who want to make a living doing something that they enjoy.